Muslim Woman and her family saved from Tsunami Calling On The name of Jesus
Hayati is a tsunami survivor from Indonesia who left Islam and converted to Christianity, after the miracle that the Lord Jesus Christ did for her and for her friends and family.
Watch the reenacted video below:
The night before the earthquake, she had a very disturbing dream, She didn’t know what it means, In the dream she saw she has built her own house but there was no roof, which often is a symbol of protection and all around the house there were people crowded all round.
Suddenly there was an earthquake in the morning, I was washing dishes at that time, I told my husband that time in the morning during the earthquake “May be this is the sign that many people will die, I dreamt about it last night” Then about 1 minutes latter the earthquake stopped, so we went out, “Let’s get out, let’s get out” and the sea waters which appeared like the huge dark wouldn’t bulge, as tossed through tall coconut trees came, where shall we go where shall we go they all asked me.
I became so confused, there was a Church just very close and I said this is the house of God, It is the house of God, let’s all go in. I prayed, I forgot I was a Muslim.
I prayed like a Christian, I said dear God, dear Lord, please protect us, do not destroy us oh God, Do not be angry with us oh God Forgive us, forgive our sins, Lord Jesus do not forsake me, Every one was shouting LORD Jesus, Lord Jesus, Suddenly the waters stop about 1 meter away.
Muslim Woman Comes Back To Life After 2 Days In Mortuary, Says Jesus Brought Her Back
The water has stop!!! We were shouting, thank you Jesus, Everyone believes the Lord Jesus has saved us at that time.
Hayati and her family has now receive life which is in Christ Jesus along with those villagers around her from a recent Tsunami Disaster which hit Indonesia.
Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a pastor who for several years had faithfully served the church. His executive responsibilities had taken him all over this country. As he concluded his message, he told of one of the most frightening, yet thought-provoking, experiences of his life.
He had been on a long flight from one place to another. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten your seat belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”
As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer said, “We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us.”
Then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, “As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.
Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every thing within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid.” The minister could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.
The child replied, “‘Cause my Daddy’s the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”
There are many kinds of storms that buffet us: • Physical, • Mental, • Financial, • Domestic, and… Many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.
So please don’t worry… Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and HE is taking us home! Have a blessed day!
I like the Bible for many reasons, one of which is that it tells the truth all the time.
There is no attempt in the Bible to make flawed men look perfect. It does not tell us the good side of the story only and leave out the bad side.
It tells us that Abraham was the father of faith and a friend of God who trusted God so much that he agreed to kill his son in obedience to God, and other great things about him.
It tells us the great qualities of the man and also his blindspots: Abraham was a pagan steeped in idolatry when God called him out; out of fear and to save his head, he lied that his wife was his sister (which was half-true); and he succumbed to the pressure and suggestion of his wife to sleep with their housemaid in order to get a son, an heir, a step that changed the world forever.
The Bible tells us that Moses had a great and unique relationship with God; he obeyed God in everything; he was a great intercessor and the meekest man on earth.
It also tells us that he tried to excuse himself from the job, and he had an anger problem: The good old Moses came down from the mountain after forty days alone with God and got so mad about the people’s backsliding that he smashed the tablet of the law God carved out and wrote with his fingers and gave him, then he ground it and forced them to drink it like tea. God told him to speak to a rock; he struck it hard in anger – and missed out on the Promise Land.
The Bible tells us that God called David “the man after my heart” who loved God so much and feared him, and was a type of Jesus, the King of righteousness (Jesus will sit on the throne of David).
David had opportunities to kill off King Saul who had made himself an enemy of David, but he wouldn’t touch the Lord’s anointed. As the king, he administered justice and righteousness in the land. The Bible also tells us that David got careless and self-indulgent one time, committed adultery, covered it up with murder, then took the woman as his wife. His family would never remain the same afterwards. He also carried out a census inadvisably and brought calamity on Israel.
The Bible tells us that Elijah was so zealous for God and had great authority to speak truth to power; he had power with God in prayer and had faith to shut up heaven that there be no rain for three and a half years, and to open it. He could call down fire from heaven and was mighty to slay over four hundred prophets of Baal.
The Bible also tells us that a woman threatened him and the mighty man of God cowered and ran away in fear, got depressed and so low that he complained and told God to end it all.
The Bible contains the story of a deceiving and cheating Jacob; a prostitute called Rahab; an impetuous and impulsive Peter who spoke and acted before he thought; a fearful and doubting Thomas; and a murderous Paul. The list is endless.
And, thankfully, it talks about and tells us about One Perfect Man who would perfect all men.
Because this Book, the Bible, is not about perfect men, but imperfect and flawed men and a perfect God dealing with them to perfect them. It is about weak men who out of weakness were made strong. It talks about the Perfect Man who would perfect imperfect men. It talks about sinful men and a sinless Man who came to save them. It talks about the revelation of the grace and mercy of God. It talks about Jesus, his cross and his blood that washes clean.
A scarlet cord runs through the pages of the Bible – an expressway to God. It’s all about Jesus the Saviour, the Perfect Man and the Perfecter of our faith.
One of the greatest words in the Bible is “come” – the call of God to sinful, weak, rebellious, imperfect men. The other equally important part is the response of men to God. The Bible is full of stories of people who dared to come to God, people who dared to believe God – how God’s grace justified and saved them. Thank God I responded to God’s call through Jesus. And now, I belong to Jesus and the kingdom of God. I am a citizen of heaven. Hallelujah! Glory to God!
What about you, my friend? Have you responded to God’s call?
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.” Isaiah 55:1-3
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, Jesus calls out. Matthew 11:28.
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Revelation 22:17.
Now you can come – flawed, dirty, sinful, imperfect as you are. Dare to come back home to God. Do not reject the grace of God. “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”
A black church pastor from Virginia has said that he was arrested after calling 911 to report that five white individuals were verbally and physically attacking him.
Pastor Leon McCray of Lighthouse Church and Marketplace Ministries International in Woodstock has said that he was forced to brandish a gun to scare off the attackers, who set upon him after he tried to prevent them from dumping waste on his property.
However, to his shock the police officers who arrived at the incident, placed him under arrest.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter has since issued an apology to the pastor for his arrest, and has confirmed that the five people involved in the attack had now been arrested. There were three male and two female suspects.
In addition, two department supervisors have now been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending a full review of the incident.
Pastor McCray spoke about his experience during his online sermon broadcast, saying: “Very traumatic experience. I don’t know if you have ever been through anything like that. I never have. Very trying.”
He described the ordeal, which began earlier this month when he witnessed two people trying to dump a large refrigerator on his property. He stepped forward and asked them to stop, however, the men turned on him with one immediately starting to verbally attack him, while the other went to call their three other friends.
Pastor McCray said, “I informed these individuals that they were trespassing and that they couldn’t dump their refrigerator on my property, and I asked them to leave. They became irate and verbally attacked me.”
He explained that “these same individuals were threatening my life, telling me that my black life, and black lives matter stuff” were not welcome in the town.
“Being threatened and being in fear for my life, I took and felt compelled to pull my concealed weapon — legal concealed weapon — to save my life. And when I did that, finally, these individuals backed up long enough for me to call 911,” he said.
However, when he called 911, the operator did not seem interested in the threats or whether he was ok, but focused their attention only on the person with the gun. The pastor pleaded with the operator to send help.
Soon after, about 10 police officers arrived at the scene, and immediately confiscated the pastor’s gun. They went and spoke to the five individuals who had been threatening him.
He described: “They went and talked to them. They were still hollering racial epithets. They were still threatening my life. They were still telling me what they were going to do to me.”
“What did the sheriff do?” the pastor asked. “I was really never given the opportunity to tell what was going on.”
Following their chat with the five trespassers, the police immediately returned to the pastor and arrested him in front of his attackers.
Pastor McCray was released from custody later that same night, however, it wasn’t until two days later that he finally had the opportunity to sit down and report what had happened with Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter.
A review was then conducted into the incident, and later all charges were dropped against the pastor.
Sheriff Carter has said, “I have apologized to Mr. McCray, and I appreciate his patience as I have worked through these matters. I do listen to citizen complaints and I take them seriously.”
The five individuals who allegedly assaulted Pastor McCray have now also been arrested, charged with assault by a mob, as well as a hate crime assault. Four of the accused were also charged with felony abduction.
The difference between God approved men and Those who Failed God’s test of approval is usually very little. There wasn’t too much between Betrayer Judas and Denier Peter. There wasn’t too much between Sacrificer Abel and Murderer Cain. There wasn’t too much between Supplanter Jacob and Profane Esau.
What may make all the difference is something too small for the physical eyes to observe, A heart reality and Posture that only God often notices.
The same is true of Political Saul and Shepherd David. Both were Choosen by God into Leadership. Both Were mentored by The Prophet Samuel. Both made mistakes in their careers and ministries.
But while Political Saul was remembered for his witchcraft and Rebellion, Shepherd David is forever known as the King whose Government symbolized Christ’s eternal Rule!
A closer look at Saul’s Career reveals very interesting facts.
This is a man who was even too shy to accept his Kingship after he was anointed By Samuel. He hid on the day of his Coronation and appeared to be very meek and humble, Perhaps he was just a pretender politician but Power and Influence eventually exposed his real heart disease which God wasn’t Blind to anyway.
Unlike Shepherd David who “Arrogantly” confronted Goliath, Political Saul seemed slow to have a firm grip on the throne but when he eventually Sat comfortably, His False Humility was exposed.
Nothing Exposed Saul’s political heart like the presence and Absence of People. His major test was given when God instructed him to anhilate the Amelekites. Amongst the many lame excuses for his partial obedience was the Phrase :
“…..But I have obeyed the Lord,”…….. And it was only WHEN MY TROOPS DEMANDED IT that I let THEM KEEP the BEST of the sheep and oxen and loot to sacrifice to the Lord.”(1 Sam 15:20-21)
Apparently, Saul’s political heart was rooted in his respect for the PEOPLE over the God who Appointed Him leader over His Flock.
And after Samuel pronounced God’s “Harsh Punishment” to the Political Saul, His chief Request was once again determined by “The People” “………I have sinned; but oh, at least HONOR ME BEFORE THE LEADERS and BEFORE MY PEOPLE by going with me to worship the Lord your God.”(1 Sam 15:30)
Interestingly, that was Saul’s second failure but the first was also for similar reasons.
……. but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?”Saul replied, “I saw my MEN SCATTERING from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle.(1 Sam13:11)
Saul’s undoing was that He loved the People at the expense of His Lord. Saul became a Politician, A “Democrat”, A Man Pleaser, A servant of Men at the expense of His Service to God.
Shepherd David was loved by Many. Infact the women sang his praises after he conquered Goliath……”Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands!”(1 Samuel 18:7) Shepherd David was loved by the People and although he wasn’t Politically intelligent, His leadership was accepted by Many.
……. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership.(1Sam 18:5)
While Political Saul Chased the People’s favor even if it meant disobeying God, Shepherd David Obtained men’s favor by Pleasing the Lord.
David’s Reign was characterized by much loyalty from His mighty men. And for most part of his “Tenure” the people were solidly behind him. But that wasn’t the beginning of His story.
Shepherd David was actually a rejected stone. Not even His family counted him worthy for the Throne. Infact Jesse his father almost forgot he had a son in the wilderness when Samuel came visiting.
He didn’t begin as a People’s favorite, He didn’t begin as a Man loved by Men, He didn’t begin as Cult Hero, His beginning was spent in Becoming God’s favourite Vessel! And when that was completed, He became irresistible to Men.
The scriptural description of David Says it all: …He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.” (Acts 13:22)
His GOOD HEART made him a GOOD SHEPHERD;he guided the people wisely and well.(Psalm 78:72)
So “Political Saul” gained men, Lost God and lost the Kingdom. “Shepherd David” Gained God, Gained the People and Gained the Kingdom.
The biggest test in life and ministry will be concerning “The People”
Will you trade God’s approval for the People’s Praise, Or will you rather Please God even if it means Men will Reject you.
Who will you rather Be? POLITICAL SAUL or SHEPHERD DAVID?
And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head… John 19:2
JESUS WORE THE CROWN OF THORNS FOR YOU
If hard work is the formula for prosperity, then everyone who works hard should be prosperous. But this is certainly not the case. Many people who work very hard are still in lack!
I am not advocating laziness. What I am saying is that working hard by the sweat of your brow is not how God’s provision comes. In fact, if you have to work overtime all the time and are stressed out, you are probably operating under the curse.
What curse is that? It is this curse: “In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). And it refers to the stress, struggle and anxieties that come with working hard and yet producing little.
Now, work itself is not a curse since God gave Adam work before the fall—Adam was to tend the garden of Eden. It was only after he sinned that the land was cursed and it brought forth thorns, and man had to toil to eat of it (see Genesis 3:17–18).
But praise God, Jesus wore the thorns on His head to show you that He has borne this curse for you and redeemed you from it. He wore the crown of thorns so that you can work stress-free and yet have the results. You don’t have to be worried and stressed out day and night like the people of the world just to get ahead in life. Your heavenly Father can get you there without the worries and stress (see Matthew 6:31–33).
Beloved, every curse that was supposed to fall on your head fell on Jesus’ head, typified by the crown of thorns. He wore the crown of thorns for you so that you can have peace of mind. He wore the crown of thorns for you and took your curse so that you can wear the crown of glory and take His righteousness, and all the benefits of that righteousness!
Today, don’t labor and toil like the people of the world. Instead, expect to see the blessings of God come into your life without blood, sweat and tears because Jesus wore the crown of thorns for you!
Today, don’t labor and toil like the people of the world. Instead, expect to see the blessings of God come into your life without blood, sweat and tears because Jesus wore the crown of thorns for you!
Philippians 2:8-11 KJV And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Name of Jesus, has been given to us as a weapon, to conquer the devil, his agents and all his evil works. All authorities in heaven, on earth and beneath the earth, bows at the mention of the Name of the Lord. President’s, Kings and all those in authority, bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. Witches and wizards bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. Principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in high places bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. The occult and all secret societies bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. Sicknesses and diseases bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. The Bible says, all knees bow at the mention of the Name of Jesus. This is good news for every child of the Most High God.
Many have however called the Name, Jesus in their trying moments, with no positive results. This must be as a result of sin or unbelief. The Bible tells us: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. (2 Timothy 2:19).
When you make your declarations in the Name of the Lord, you must do so by faith, believing that it is done, and it shall be unto you according to your word. The Bible puts it thus: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”. (James 1:6-8).
When you’re constantly walking with someone you’re going to understand them better than you ever did. You’re going to know their heart. Walking with God is not just a time in the prayer closet, it’s a lifestyle that we can only obtain through Jesus Christ.
It’s a journey. Picture you’re going on a trip with your best friend who hates your pet alligator. You know that it doesn’t please him so because you love him so much you’re not going to bring it on the trip.
In the same way you’re not going to bring along sin, and things that will hold you back. When you walk with God you choose to imitate Him and glorify Him in every way.
In this evil generation it’s not hard to notice a man or woman of God whose heart is aligned with God’s heart because their light shines so bright and they’re set apart from the world.
“Those who walk with God, always reach their destination.” ― Henry Ford
“If I walk with the world, I can’t walk with God.” Dwight L. Moody
“God’s mighty power comes when God’s people learn to walk with God.” Jack Hyles
“I’m here, Let’s walk together.” – God
“Walking with God doesn’t lead to God’s favor; God’s favor leads to walking with God.” — Tullian Tchividjian
“Don’t worry God has gone before you and prepared the way. Just keep walking.”
“We want more men and women who walk with God and before God, like Enoch and Abraham.” J. C. Ryle
“Smart men walked on the moon, daring men walked on the ocean floor, but wise men walk with God.” Leonard Ravenhill
“The more you walk with God, the harder it is to scrape your knee.”
What does the Bible say?
Micah 6:8 “He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you— to act with justice, to treasure the LORD’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.”
Colossians 1:10-11 “so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit while doing all kinds of good things and growing in the full knowledge of God. You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy.”
Deuteronomy 8:6 “Observe the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.”
Romans 13:13 “Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
2 Chronicles 7:17-18 “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.”
Jesus was never empty because He always walked with God doing His will.
John 4:32-34 “But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
1 John 2:6 “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.”
When we walk with the Lord we draw closer to the Lord with all our heart. He becomes our focus. Our hearts longs for Him. Our heart seeks His presence. Our desire to have fellowship with Christ and be like Him will grow while our worldly desires will decrease.
Hebrews 10:22 “let us continue to come near with sincere hearts in the full assurance that faith provides, because our hearts have been sprinkled clean from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Luke 10:27 “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
When walking with God we desire to please God and we allow the Lord to work in our lives to make us into the image of His Son.
Romans 8:29 “Because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
When walking with the Lord you will grow in your awareness of sin in your life and your need for a Savior. More and more we will grow in hatred for our sins and want to rid our lives of them. More and more we will confess and forsake our sins.
Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even look up to heaven. Instead, he continued to beat his chest and said, ‘O God, be merciful to me, the sinner that I am!”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
When you’re walking with God you don’t let other things distract you from Christ.
Luke 10:40-42 “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”
We will walk by faith.
2 Corinthians 5:7 “Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight.”
Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
We can’t walk with the Lord if we’re living in darkness. You can’t have God and evil.
1 John 1:6-7 “If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Every child of God wants to be more like Jesus. And, by God’s grace, this actually happens. The name the Bible gives to this process of becoming more Christ-like is “sanctification.” To be sanctified is to become more dedicated to God and separated from sin (Rom. 6:22). It is to live out the deep principles of salvation. In sanctification, believers become more like their Savior.
But how does this happen?
In one of the most important biblical texts on sanctification, Paul says that growing in godliness takes work: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12–13). In sanctification, believers work and God works. But what do those two works look like and how do they relate to each other?
As we grapple with these questions, we should not soften the force of the Spirit’s words; any interpretation that minimizes either the work of man or of God in sanctification misses his point.
We Become Like Jesus by Working God’s Will
The main verb in verse 12 is plain: Work out your own salvation. Paul is definitely not saying, “Work at your own salvation,” or “Work up to earning salvation.” Paul is writing to those in whom God had already begun a work of salvation (cf. 1:6). God is not calling the lost to get saved; he’s calling the saved to get working.
What does it look like to work out salvation, to pursue sanctification?
Sanctification Means Growing in Reverence
Sanctification is a serious work; believers work out their salvation in “fear and trembling.” Believers grow in godliness as they gain a deeper respect for God, a stirring sense of awe over his greatness. Like Joseph, we stubbornly resist offending God in any way (Gen. 39:9).
Sanctification Means Growing in Obedience
Obedience and faith are not enemies—though this can be confusing. Whenever we put obedience prior to our acceptance by God we pervert the gospel. “By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in [God’s] sight” (Rom. 3:20).
Suppose someone told you, “I am terribly lonely and need a friend. I will do anything you tell me if only you’ll love me.” You would be repulsed. But it’s quite different to hear someone say, “I have a friend who loves me so much, I can’t imagine her asking me to do anything that I wouldn’t gladly do.”
It is in that latter sense that Paul talks about obedience as a reflection of a heart that is freed from sin’s bonds (Rom. 6:17; cf. Acts 6:7).
Sanctification Means Growing in Integrity
Sanctification is not mere compliance when people are watching. Paul urged the Philippians to be more faithful in his absence than in his presence. Paul contrasts “eye service” with sincere, heartfelt reverence to God (Col. 3:22). Someone who only obeys when watched is serving himself; he obeys to gain praise or avoid a penalty. Coerced obedience is a sign of spiritual immaturity.
Bottom line: Growth in godliness is hard work.
We Become More Like Jesus by Trusting in God’s Work
Without minimizing believers’ responsibility to work out their salvation, Paul further describes sanctification as a work of God’s sovereign grace (cf. Phil. 2:1–11). “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (v. 13; cf. 1 Thess. 5:23).
God’s “good pleasure” is to renew his children in true godliness. In the words of the seventeenth century Canons of Dort, he “infuses new qualities into the will… whereupon the will thus renewed is not only [turned on] and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence becomes itself active.” Paul’s message is not, “Work hard because God is working hard too.” God is not merely an example of human work. Instead, God’s gracious work in us more deeply wins us over to God and sways us to do his will.
Have you ever felt discouraged—even disgusted—about your perceived lack of progress in holiness? Have you ever feared that perhaps in the future you will be more sinful, less sanctified than you are now? These thoughts can be paralyzing. And that is exactly what the devil wants. “There’s no hope for you,” he suggests. “You’ll never amount to much of a Christian if you even are one. You’re a slave to sin. You’ve tried to fight it. But it’s no use. You’ll never be like God.”
Who has the heart to engage in work that is sure to fail?
But that is exactly Paul’s point; there is hope in succeeding! Because God is working for and in his children, their work toward sanctification is not futile. God is working in his children both to will and to do for His good pleasure! As Ligon Duncan has said, “Paul’s teaching is not that God accepts you so no change is necessary, but that God accepts you and therefore change is now possible.”
Believers must work to believe the gospel, love God, fight sin, desire eternity, and serve others cheerfully. We work to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word so that we can joyfully obey everything God says. We strive to respect our conscience when it convicts us of wrong or encourages us in well-doing. But all this work is driven by God’s work in us. God actually cares about our sanctification more than we do. God wants us to find our joy in him and to say no to everything that detracts from true happiness. Sometimes that takes a lot of work!
But here is Paul’s invigorating point: God never demands that we work for him harder than he’s working in us.
Confession of sin is necessary for fellowship with God and revival among God’s people. The word “confess” has the root meaning of “to say the same as.” Confession, then, is agreeing with God about your sin.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (TLB)
Below you will find a series of questions to help you think through areas of your life that may need cleansing. On reading these questions, as you are convicted of sin, confess it at once to God. Be willing to make it right. Then you can receive cleansing and forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.
Be sure to name your sin to God. For example: Lord, I have not put You first in my plans, or, I have neglected Your Word and prayer. Do not make even one excuse for sin of any kind in your life. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He (or she) who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
You may wish to write down the specific sins that come to mind as you read the questions. Then, when you’re finished confessing, tear the paper into bits and throw it away as a reminder that God does indeed cleanse you from “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9b). Embrace the promise of Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Step into personal revival today. Use these questions to brave the depths of your heart, knowing that as you do, your heart is safe and secure in God’s hands.
Do you have any personal habits that are not pure?
Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind?
Do you read that which is impure or suggests unholy things?
Do you indulge in any entertainment that is unclean?
Are you guilty of looking lustfully at others?
If you are looking for a deeply satisfying relationship with God, I encourage you to pray by faith and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you live life according to His perfect plan. Why not pray this simple prayer and by faith invite Him to fill you with His Spirit:
Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.